Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone
Irish delegates biking from Utrecht to Houten.

Study Visit from Counties Carlow and Laois, Ireland

28 February 2023

On Tuesday, February 22nd, 2023, the Dutch Cycling Embassy (DCE) welcomed delegations from counties Carlow and Laois, Ireland. The group of engineers and politicians had a two-day study visit where they learnt about the role of the bicycle in the Netherlands. Their goal was to gain insights on how to create a bicycle-friendly environment in their respective counties, and to encourage more people to take up cycling as a means of transportation.


Day 1 in Utrecht and Houten:

The group began their study visit in Utrecht where Chris Bruntlett started off the morning with an introduction to DCE and the historic development of bicycle infrastructure. Expert Joceyln Kemker – de Kruif (Triple Joy) followed up with a presentation on communications and cycling stimulation. With her knowledge on community building and healthy urban lifestyle, she provided advice on how the group can encourage their own citizens to transition into using a bicycle more often. Next up was Dutch expert André Pettinga (Cyclemotions) who guided an interactive discussion on urban-rural connections. The Irish group shared their current situations and the challenges they encounter in pushing for a bicycle framework.

After a short walking tour in Utrecht and a pitstop for lunch, the delegates were ready for the next adventure. As majority of them hadn’t used ebikes before, they were eager to jump on and have first-hand experience how the Dutch have integrated cycling into their daily lives. During their bike tour to Houten, André pointed out key distinguishes to the infrastructure that ensure a safe, efficient, and enjoyable mode of transportation. One of the main take-aways from this experience was the flow of the biking lanes and the network connections.

Day 2 in Ede – Wageningen:

The following day the group took the NS train from Utrecht to Ede and got to encounter the ease of public transportation and bike combination. Upon arrival, they got back on ebikes and expert Sjors van Duren (RHDHV) guided them as they explored the network connections between Ede, Wageningen and Bennekom. As the infrastructure in these towns are still in progress, the group realised the smooth cycling experience they had the day before in Houten.

After a delicious lunch to refuel – given the 30km of biking -, the first presentation of the day was provided by Ruben Loendersloot (Loendersloot International). The topic was on network planning and car management which was followed with an in-depth discussion on how to balance the cohesion between the car and bicycle. The next presentation was given by Sjors and he discussed the bike and train combination and how it was successfully implemented in the Netherlands. The delegates learned that having such an infrastructure doesn’t only help people to get from point A to B, but it enriches urban and healthy living!


With this newfound knowledge and experience, the delegates from Carlow and Laois can work towards improving cycling infrastructure and encouraging their citizens to choose cycling as a means of transportation!

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